Energy Stocks Down Nearly 3% as a Group as Crude Oil Slides Under $80 a Barrel

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Energy stocks are broadly lower with the NYSE Energy Sector Index down 2.88% this afternoon while the S&P Energy Index is off 2.97% following reports finding manufacturing activity throughout the world continues to slow. Crude oil for August delivery is down $1.71, or over 2%, at $79.74 a barrel. July natural gas is up another 10 cents to $2.62 per 1 million BTU.

In company news, Chesapeake Energy Corp ( CHK ) shares are down about 3% today with the natural gas supplier selecting former Conoco ( COP ) CEO Archie Dunham to be its non-executive board chairman.

Dunham succeeds CHK Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon, who will remain a director but opted to relinquish his chairman duties under fire after borrowings using his personal stake in the company's wells as collateral came to light. The controversy spread to other board members, with the company agreeing to allow activist investor Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management -- CHK's largest individual shareholder with a 13.9% stake -- to choose four new board members.

In a statement, Icahn said, "We believe Chesapeake is now heading in the right direction."

Separately, Chinese oil and gas company Sinopec Corp ( SHI ) - also down 3% - reportedly is contemplating a multibillion bid for selected CHK assets. Sinopec Chief Executive Fu Chengyu was in Oklahoma earlier this week to perform due diligence ahead of a formal offer, people familiar with the situation told the Financial Times yesterday.

The report did not specify what assets Sinopec might bid for, or how much the company's bid would be. CHK officials would not comment on the report, according to Reuters.

The company previously has said it plans to sell up to $11.5 billion in assets to generate fresh capital and fill a funding gap.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: CHK , COP , SHI

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